Spreading With Purpose To Punch Above Your Weight


Starting a business, you always tend to think big and quite frankly you should. Without a vision where you want to be in 5 or maybe ten years, you lack the wind in your sails to push you forward with purpose. At the same time, there is a large amount of imagination injected into the image of what you eventually want to be. Competing with the big boys in your industry, being a leading figure in the economy of the country you set up in, and generally being a big player around the globe. However, many entrepreneurs and small business owners do get a sense that they are swimming against the tide. This is both a good thing and disheartening because it’s true. Because of your size, you will be better placed and possess the ability to react to market shifts quicker than your larger competition. Yet, you don’t have the resources to compete on a massive scale thus limiting your capabilities. Every small business owner makes a cheeky grin at the thought of a large corporation executive sweating because they now have to compete with a small business because they have a better product or service that he or she does. It’s very possible indeed to start punching above your weight.

Innovation begins with toe dipping

The thing about large companies is, they lack finesse in how they interact with the market. With the advent of social media, businesses around the world are being scrutinized by the average joe for lack of consumer insight or desires in their products and services. Another downfall of being a colossal business is that you can grow a tendency to keep your head in the sand and just power through with whatever it is you want to do. This may be partly to beat a competitor, or it might be the simple but deadly case of willfully locking yourself inside an echo chamber. However as a small business, you don’t have this problem to worry about.

Cast your net of outreach far and wide. Use whatever methods you can possible to collect and collate as much information about consumer needs and wants in your particular field. It bodes well if you already have a product or service that you have released. Using this as a basis, you can then dip your toes into the feedback you’re getting to shape what you offer. Your research and development department or team should be heavily involved in discussing the feedback you have collected. Therefore you can see what is and isn’t possible with the latest practices, technology and engineering standards. Striking off what can’t be done will leave you with your best options and thus leave you with the decision to move forward and innovate in a specific direction.

Importing and basing

The world has morphed into a large gaggle of competing economies. What were once countries mired in poverty and ailing economies are rapidly becoming modernized. Emerging economies like Brazil and India are just one of the examples. For a competitive economy, importing is just as important as exporting. Small businesses are no longer plagued by the image of small and ineffective. In fact quite the opposite, any business can now be taken seriously at the ports and docks. Just as the large companies do, you too should take advantage of importing what you need to build your business further. It’s sometimes the better option than buying domestically as your money might go a lot further when buying from lesser nations.

What can put people off this route are the huge logistical challenges that present themselves with regards to transporting and storing. Businesses that specialize in handling these difficulties, like Freo Group, for example, are the friend of small business. Use the quote function and see what kind of price range you’re in for the type of haulage you need. This business also provides material handling services that adhere to approved procedures. If you’re dealing with anything sensitive such as chemicals and or composites that are potentially dangerous, this service is a great way to handle them ethically. With the coordination of the warehouse in which your imported items are stored, your business can form a relationship of trust and reliability in service and accessibility.

Beat them to the punch

In the world of business and trade, there are certain unwritten rules and cultural aspects that will be new to a small business owner. No matter how far technology has come with regards to social media and online conferencing, meeting face to face is a matter of trust and respect. Getting on a plane and hopping overseas to access and really breakthrough into a new consumer well should be taken seriously. Meeting and connecting with other small businesses in your industry and forging contracts with these businesses is vital to accelerated growth. Trading with other businesses overseas via a direct route is a substantial ingredient to the prosperity of your business. You surely have plans to become a giant one day, and so does another business on the other side of the earth. Therefore, helping each other succeed and tapping into multiple economies not only provides you with more trade but soft power expansion. You could become a recognized name before a large company multinational has that honor if you play your cards right.

Wanting the power and influence of large multinational corporations is normal when starting up your own business. You must balance these wishes with wanting to grow with the need to compete. Growth will automatically happen to a business that prides itself on punching above its own weight. This means you must turn your envy into a lust to blow the competition away. Creating ties with businesses overseas can be done online but much better when deals are done face to face. Innovation is the fuel that powers the most modern and dominant economies in the world. No more so is this possible when you’re small and adaptable. So listen to your customers and implement their wishes to overtake large lumbering companies that find it difficult to adapt. Importing is a very real dream, and with certain businesses that can offer you their services in this area, you should be taking full advantage of cheaper products from abroad.

5 Tips to a Better LinkedIn Profile


As a regular LinkedIn user, you no doubt realize that your LinkedIn profile is your online business card, resume and reputation all in rolled into one. But does your profile truly serve as a comprehensive virtual portfolio? In other words, when colleagues, potential clients and recruiters land on your page, can they learn all they need to know about who you are and what you do?

Likely, you could use a stronger profile. Follow these five tips help you build one.  

1. Your Profile Photo: Don’t Settle for Good Enough

Why is your profile photo so important? The face in the photo is your only chance to make a positive first impression. It won’t matter how solid your credentials are, how much experience you have or how much talent you bring to the table if your photo turns viewers off.

Look around LinkedIn and take a look at the profile photos professionals use. Which attract your attention — this Arnold Siegel profile picture, where he looks approachable and friendly, or a profile without a profile picture at all?

Or worse, what do profile pictures of the person too far away to make out, enjoying a cocktail at a party or posing with their pets say? Unless those activities are somehow related to the individual’s profession, they belong on Facebook, not LinkedIn.

Because your profile picture is the professional face the world sees, don’t settle for a bad photo. And don’t yield to the temptation to use that great 10-year-old picture. You’re not after a beauty contest crown here. Your job is to let people know who you are now.

If you have the funds, visit a pro. If paying a photographer is not in the budget, perhaps a friend with a good camera could help. Or, you can try a do-it-yourself and see what you come up with. In any case, follow these recommendations:

  • The best profile photos encompass the top of the shoulders and the head. The subject, you, should take up at least 60 percent of the frame.
  • Your expression should be friendly, warm and approachable. No maniacal grins, no frowns, no expressions of discomfort or unhappiness. Keep trying until you get it right.
  • Look at what’s behind you before you shoot. Avoid distracting backgrounds.    

2. Make Your Headline Sing

Directly under your profile picture is the headline field. The headline is drawn from your most recent job title by default, but you can and should edit the information.

Job titles generally do not explain what you really do. So instead of leaving the default, succinctly describe your professional “essence ” as well as what you can do for the viewer.

For example, instead of a headline that says “Senior Marketing Manager,” try “Increase sales on a small budget with a highly trained experienced marketing professional.”  You have 120 characters to show value to the reader, don’t waste the space with useless information.

3. Add a Background Photo

A background photo that’s relevant to your profession adds visual interest and makes your page stand out. Choose a photo that is pleasing to the eye, not overly busy and fits in context with what you do.

4. Your Summary: Your Story

The summary section is where you explain who you are, how you got where you are, what you’re like and what you want to do. It’s the story of you, written in an engaging, personal style.

It’s not a list of jobs, skills and accreditation’s. There’s room for those essentials elsewhere. Take your time writing the summary.

Within your summary, add specific keywords and phrases for search engine optimization. Don’t overload text with keywords, but include words people might use to search for someone with your skills and talents.

Avoid using common buzzwords, such as creative, passionate, experienced, expert, focused and similar general non-specific descriptors. The summary is your chance to show why you’re different.

5. Schedule Updates

To get the most out of LinkedIn, engage on a regular basis. Publish content, share, make comments, respond to comments, add graphics and post often. Schedule updates regularly and update in between to post breaking news and other topics. LinkedIn is a valuable tool and can open the door to lots of opportunities, if you use it wisely.